Today in Sports history: A comedy of penalties in Kumasi

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On this day February 11th, 2018, Kumasi Asante Kotoko needed a late goal to surmount the bulwark defense of CARA Brazzaville of Congo by 1-0 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in the first leg tie of the preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup.

The game had lots of peculiar and heroic moments. Referee awarded 5 penalties on the day, Kotoko had 4 whiles CARA Brazzaville had 1. Asante Kotoko missed 3 of their kicks and scored 1, CARA also missed their kick.

Kotoko started the game brilliantly and unsettled their opponents in the opening minutes of the game. They were handed the first big opportunity to put their noses in front in the 6th minute. Referee pointed to the spot after a CARA player handled a shot from Sadick Adams in the box. Sadick Adams’ effort was off target.

Kotoko continued to push forward and nearly had their moment in the 25th minute. Kwame Boahene curled a beautiful shot from outside the box, but his shot struck the post and was cleared to safety.

The game went into the recess scoreless.

Asante Kotoko continued from where they left it before the break. The Porcupine Warriors were awarded another spot kick in the 57th minute, Kwame Boahene was brought down in the box. Sadick Adams stepped up to take the spot kick, but skipper Amos Frimpong took the ball from him, his feeble shot was saved by goalkeeper Massa Chansa. Another escape for CARA.

Minutes later, Kotoko were awarded a 3rd spot kick of the game, Kwame Boahene was tripped in the box for the second time. Baba Mahama this time stepped up, but his spot kick was also saved.

This time it was CARA’s turn to have their share of the penalty giveaways, referee pointed to the spot after Emmanuel Gyamfi brought down Cabway in the box.

Interestingly, the goalkeeper who had already saved two spot kicks stepped up to take the spot kick, but his effort was saved by Felix Annan. Making it the 4th time a spot kick was missed in the game, the Devil was having his own luck.

That wasn’t the end of the drama at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kotoko continued to press and push their opponents to the wall.

The pressure paid off with just a minute to go, Kotoko were awarded their 3rd and last opportunity to find the break through, Sadick Adams was brought down once again in the box. Substitute Yakubu Mohammed stepped up this time and coolly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper. The game ended 1-0, Kotoko with a glimmer of hope ahead of the second leg.

The 5 penalties awarded in the game equaled the record of the most penalties awarded in a single football match, Crystal Palace versus Brighton in 1989, 2 were scored and 3 missed.

Kotoko 3 penalty misses also equaled the record of most penalties missed in a single match. It equaled the record set by Argentina striker Martin Palermo in a Copa America game between Argentina and Columbia in 1999.

Asante Kotoko went on to lose the second leg and eventually got eliminated. The game ended 1-0 after 90 minutes and went straight to penalty shootouts, Cara won the penalty shootouts 7-6.

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